There are several dates important for the Czech Republic (meaning people living there). More important for those who have lived through the event. November 17th is the one.

This date is connected to year 1939 – Nine Czech students were executed as a response to anti-Nazi demonstrations prompted by the death of Jan Opletal. All Czech universities were shut down and more than 1,200 students sent to concentration camps. Since this event, International Students’ Day is celebrated in many countries.

However, I lived through 1989. Velvet Revolution began: In Czechoslovakia, a student demonstration in Prague was quelled by riot police. This sparks an uprising aimed at overthrowing the communist government (it succeeds on December 29).

Thanks to this day, and not only 1989 but also 1939, we can celebrate freedom now…

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